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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez Steve Vai JEM Jr.

Explore new dimensions of shred on the affordably priced JEM Junior's super-slim Wizard III neck, double-locking tremolo and Quantum HSH pickups.

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"Best guitar for the money, period." submitted July 13, 2016

By Manabu G in Anaheim, CA
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Musical Background: Jam at home for many years (1984) but seriously playing for the last 2.
Music Style: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Ozzy/Randy.
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Overall: Great guitar! The neck on the Jem Jr. (25.5 neck) is fast and really nice… not the single body but the Jem Jr. being a bolt-on, you really never feel it because they shaped the area by rounding out the edges. I got the ESP LTD EC-401 Charcoal and returned it to zZounds because the square parts where the neck meets the body got in my way… amongst other issues. I returned it and got the Schecter S-II Platinum Satin Silver SG (24.75 neck w/EMGs). Between the Jem Jr. and the Schecter, I’m all set to play Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dio, Priest, Randy! The weight of Jem Jr. is perfect! Not too heavy and not too light. Definitely lighter than a Strat! Neck has no fret buzz while soloing. The beautiful inlays take getting used to… but you WILL get used to it, lol. The bigger “leaf” inlay are the true markers. The signature handle really comes in handy! Very well balanced… but I had to tune up the tremolo. It was sticking up about 1/2”!!! WTH? Lol. So I lowered it to the body and now, it stays in tune for a long time and low action. Make sure you use a cork under the fine tuners to it don’t jam against the wood! The fine tuners need a little dab (I mean very very little) of oil once in a while but still all good. Only gripe is the way you plug the cord in… from the upside, you plug in downward. Weird. Good for playing gigs. But you cannot find a better guitar for this price point!
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"Great guitar... Pleasantly surprised..." submitted March 30, 2016

By Gary G
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Musical Background: Jam at home
Music Style: Rock,blues,hip hip and a little bit of country
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Overall: I own a 2008 Jem 7VWH but to be honest, I don't like the gold... I know I could switch the hardware, but I also like keeping signature models original... So when this model came out for 500 bucks without the gold and I wouldn't feel bad customizing it further, it was an easy decision. I was hoping it would sound OK, but was shocked at how good this guitar sounds and looks... Only down side so far is it took me 30 minutes last night to set up and I still have to get the intonation set... Stock right outta the box, so far, this guitar is a winner for me...
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"Solid guitar! " submitted June 18, 2016

By Andrew G in Las cruces, NM
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Musical Background: Playing for over 25 years, used to play professionally, now play for fun
Music Style: Rock, metal, blues
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Overall: This guitar is a well made, solid built guitar, workmanship is very good, was setup pretty good, I feel like this guitar can take a lot of abuse and still hold together well.. Stays in tune pretty well feels kinda heavy compared to a strat..
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"VERY NICE INSTRUMENT" submitted May 4, 2017

By Giampiero S in Denton, TX
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Musical Background: Full time professional
Music Style: Jazz/Fusion/Rock/Latin/World
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Overall: Here's an example of how a company can make a mid/low priced instrument that plays and sounds good right out of the box! The guitar is a great value and it's an instrument that you can play AS IS, and start making money with it right away. The frets are ALL well set and well dressed, no sharp edges at all. Action and floating tremolo also very playable right out of the box. Only problem was non of the included allen wrenches fit the locking nut, which was lose(!) - A trip to the local hardware store solved that problem which I am sure it's a rare occurrence and one due to packaging not manufacturing. The guitar sounds good and the humbuckers have a full yet well defined edge to them. The Center pickup is powerful and twangy as it should be the out-of-phase positions are the traditional, strat-like tone great for many styles. A very good instruments at all levels.
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"Dream come true" submitted August 14, 2017

By Mike Lawless in Fayetteville , NC
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Musical Background: Playing 30 years. I'm dedicated to Ibanez. I own 5 Ibanez guitars. Professional and jam at home.
Music Style: 80s rock, major influences... Metallica, Maiden, Lynche, Vai, Malmsteen, Vito Bratta... you get the picture.
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Overall: I LOVE IT !!! Feels like Heaven in my hands. Slight tremolo adjustment out of the box. Perfect balance of weight. Pick ups sound brilliant. Plays effortlessly. Stays in tune. If you want a Jem, this is IT !!!!!!
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"Great guitar" submitted May 31, 2016

By Zach Haefner in Menomonee Falls, WI
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Musical Background: I play guitar and have been playing for 8 yers.
Music Style: Blue, Jazz, Classic rock, 80s Metal.
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Overall: I received this guitar as a graduation gift, and I was absolutely blown away by how good it sounded. I own a PRS and a Gibson Les Paul, and yet this guitar is now my go to guitar for whenever I want to practice. I wont lie, its not perfect, the action was set a little to high but I fixed that problem and now everything is amazing. If your looking for a guitar, and like Steve Vai, buy this JEM!!
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"best in class !!" submitted December 8, 2015

By Earl B in Greensboro, NC
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Musical Background: I' a recording engineer/producer & run a studio, I play drums, gtr, bass, keys
Music Style: I've placed 22 tracks in just as many genres & subgenres in the Top 10 charts on the biggest Indie site on internet. Ranging fro
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Overall: I had always wanted a Jem, a little pricey for me, thought DiMarzios wouldn't be a big hit either...so I waited. I needed a strat style that I could load Duncans in if needed, a dbl locking bridge, and good wood were the other factors. I was banking on a pickup swap and almost made the wrong decision to go ahead and order them at this same time. Glad I waited. So it arrived, I was thoroughly impressed at the quality, but Ibanez always delivers a first class product from the lowest to the top-dogs. I did need time to set it up as low as I like it (on the frets w/no buzz) but now that it's dialed in, it plays like buttah, it plays as well as the Prestige J-Team that I had a few years back, it's light so it's comfortable, and the big surprise was the stock pickups...these are the best stock pickups IMO that I've had from any manufacturer. The pots & switch are silent, and you get 5 distinct tones from each position and NO Noise. the unique placement of the cable keeps it out of the way also, great feature,...in fact, I can't think of any negatives to mention. It's just been a month or so, and I may try-out a pair of Railhammers down the line, but for now I just plug her up to my HD500X and it's kosher. I highly recommend this guitar, and I doubt you will find a new guitar at this price that's equal to or better, it's just a fine piece of work...and Ibanez still has the best Bang 5 Buck in the world of rock/metal guitars ! I'm dropping a half star on "Overall" because it did need a serious amount of adjusting on the bridge. I rated "Manufacturer Support" a 5 Star, I have no idea if that's correct, but I had to check it to post review. I've never had to contact Ibanez and I've been buying their products for 20 years.
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"best in class !!" submitted December 9, 2015

By Earl B in Greensboro, NC
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I' a recording engineer/producer & run a studio, I play drums, gtr, bass, keys
Music Style: I've placed 22 tracks in just as many genres & subgenres in the Top 10 charts on the biggest Indie site on internet. Ranging fro
Back to Product Information
VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: I had always wanted a Jem, a little pricey for me, thought DiMarzios wouldn't be a big hit either...so I waited. I needed a strat style that I could load Duncans in if needed, a dbl locking bridge, and good wood were the other factors. I was banking on a pickup swap and almost made the wrong decision to go ahead and order them at this same time. Glad I waited. So it arrived, I was thoroughly impressed at the quality, but Ibanez always delivers a first class product from the lowest to the top-dogs. I did need time to set it up as low as I like it (on the frets w/no buzz) but now that it's dialed in, it plays like buttah, it plays as well as the Prestige J-Team that I had a few years back, it's light so it's comfortable, and the big surprise was the stock pickups...these are the best stock pickups IMO that I've had from any manufacturer. The pots & switch are silent, and you get 5 distinct tones from each position and NO Noise. the unique placement of the cable keeps it out of the way also, great feature,...in fact, I can't think of any negatives to mention. It's just been a month or so, and I may try-out a pair of Railhammers down the line, but for now I just plug her up to my HD500X and it's kosher. I highly recommend this guitar, and I doubt you will find a new guitar at this price that's equal to or better, it's just a fine piece of work...and Ibanez still has the best Bang 5 Buck in the world of rock/metal guitars ! I'm dropping a half star on "Overall" because it did need a serious amount of adjusting on the bridge. I rated "Manufacturer Support" a 5 Star, I have no idea if that's correct, but I had to check it to post review. I've never had to contact Ibanez and I've been buying their products for 20 years.
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